When the 2013 Cadillac XTS burst onto the scene last summer, it served as an important part of the domestic luxury brand's strategy of introducing a range of new vehicles intended to help make-over its entire lineup. Many people initially assumed that the full-size sedan was meant to pull duty as Cadillac's flagship, but that idea was shot down by executives at the automaker who said that an even larger, higher-end sedan was on its way. This left the Cadillac XTS playing a new role for the company, one that attempts to appeal to both previous owners and new premium car shoppers who might not have previously considered a Cadillac.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Cadillac XTS.
01. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Is An All-New Model
The 2013 Cadillac XTS rides on a platform that is brand new for the automaker. The Cadillac XTS borrows its underpinnings from the successful Buick LaCrosse sedan, but makes a significant number of changes in order to make it distinctive to Cadillac. This includes making the HiPer front struts that are offered on performance-oriented versions of the LaCrosse standard for the XTS, and providing a magnetic ride control suspension system free of charge, which allows the sedan to deliver more precise handling that adapts dynamically to the current driving situation.
02. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Replaces Two Older Sedans
The 2013 Cadillac XTS doesn't directly take the place of any specific model that was previously available from the luxury automaker, but rather it aims to snag customers who were used to picking up either a Cadillac STS or a Cadillac DTS as their daily drivers. The STS was a rear-wheel drive, sporty sedan, while the DTS delivered old-school, front-wheel drive butter-smooth luxury. The Cadillac XTS - which can be had in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive editions - sits somewhere in between in terms of its mission statement, presenting a compromise that it hopes loyal fans of the brand will find palatable.
03. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Features Distinctive Styling
The 2013 Cadillac XTS takes the Art & Science styling cues that serve as the basis for Cadillac's design efforts moves them in a slightly different direction. The front of the Cadillac is dominated by an enormous grille that is almost as bold as the one featured on the Cadillac Escalade SUV. A pair of headlights that curve up and into the front fenders frame this grille, and the car's smooth sides lead the eye back to a rear deck that is visually shortened by the wide angle of the vehicle's rear glass. A simple tail light and trunk arrangement sits above a dual exhaust system, and while the XTS' proportions aren't exactly graceful, they do convey the size of the car with reasonable authority.
04. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Offers A Large, Well-Trimmed Interior
The 2013 Cadillac XTS' generous exterior dimensions hint at the copious amounts of room that are available within its passenger compartment. Larger than any other Cadillac sedan currently in the fleet, rear occupants will be pleased to find 40 inches of legroom as well as plenty of shoulder room to separate them from their fellow seatmates. Up front, the vehicle's pair of buckets provides a similarly airy feel. The materials used on the dashboard, the door panels, and the center console are several cuts above those that were found in either the DTS or the XTS, and the availability of extensive leather and wood trim add a touch of class that was previously absent from full-size Cadillac sedans.
05. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Makes Use Of V-6 Power
The 2013 Cadillac XTS is motivated by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine. This unit has been tuned to provide a very healthy 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque, which, given the weight of the sedan, doesn't transform the Cadillac XTS into a rocket but rather provides solid acceleration both off of the line and when pulling out to pass at highway speeds. The engine makes use of direct injection in order to help deliver fuel efficiency figures of 17-mpg in stop and go driving and 28-mpg on the highway. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available with the Cadillac, regardless of whether the vehicle is ordered in front-wheel or all-wheel drive trim.
06. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Can Be Had The CUE System
The 2013 Cadillac XTS comes standard with the Cadillac User Experience or CUE system. CUE is a new entry into the world of driver / vehicle interfaces, and it makes use of an LCD touchscreen that offers haptic feedback that pulses back when an icon is selected. CUE can also respond to gestures as well as voice commands, and it is integrated into the Cadillac XTS' entertainment, communications, and information systems in order to provide a 360-degree entry-point for drivers that allows them to maintain their full attention on the road ahead. CUE is pairable with as many as 10 Bluetooth devices at a time, which greatly expands one's ability to wirelessly stream Internet and music within the car.
07. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Comes In Four Trim Levels
The 2013 Cadillac XTS base model offers a comprehensive list of features, including parking assistance, dual automatic climate control, keyless entry and ignition, power leather seats, the CUE interface, a Bose stereo system, and tilt and telescopic steering adjustments. Moving up to the Luxury trim introduces heated and cooled front seats and heaters for the sedan's rear seats, expanded parking assistance (including a rearview camera), a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensitive windshield wipers. The Premium trim grafts on three zones of automatic climate control, additional active safety features, a surround sound audio system, navigation, a head-up display, and adaptive headlights, while the Platinum trim looms large with 20-inch rims, a sunroof, extended leather inside the passenger compartment, and unique exterior trim.
08. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Can Be Customized Via A Single Options Package
The 2013 Cadillac XTS allows buyers who opt for the Premium or Platinum editions of the sedan to further equip their automobiles with an options package. The Cadillac XTS is available with the Driver Assist package, which adds adaptive cruise control as well as the ability to automatically brake the car - whether it is traveling forwards or backwards - should an obstacle or potential collision be detected. Other, stand-alone options for the Cadillac XTS include a sunroof (for the Premium trim), manual side sunshades, and a rear window power sunshade.
09. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Is Loaded With Safety Gear
The 2013 Cadillac XTS features a full range of airbags, including front knee airbags, side impact airbags mounted to both the front and rear seats, dual forward airbags, and side curtain airbags. The Cadillac XTS also offers the OnStar system, which can automatically contact first responders in the event of an accident, as well as electronic traction and stability control. The Premium and Platinum editions of the car additionally feature a blind spot monitoring system, a lane departure warning system, a front collision alert system, and a rear cross-traffic alert system, each of which use special sensors to monitor the environment surrounding the XTS at all times.
10. The 2013 Cadillac XTS Faces No Clear Rivals
The 2013 Cadillac XTS stands somewhat alone on the current luxury scene. Not intended to take on full-size Euro sedans on their own turf, the Cadillac XTS is more aligned with continuing the brand's dominance over vehicles like the Lincoln MKS and the Acura RL. With the Cadillac CTS destined to move up-market with its next iteration, the XTS might find itself competing hardest against in-house models like the previously-mentioned Buick LaCrosse, which features a similar driving experience at a less expensive price. The eventual introduction of a true flagship full-size sedan at Cadillac over the course of the next few years will introduce additional bracketing for the XTS, which will likely represent the most affordable way to get behind the wheel of a big Cadillac.